Three women are accused of human trafficking after allegedly running illicit massage businesses in Oxnard, officials announced Wednesday.
An investigation into one of the businesses, VIP Therapy Massage in Oxnard, began in March, when detectives learned commercial sex was occurring at the location.
There were allegedly elements of coercion by the business owner, Silvia Diaz, 51, and the manager, Claudia Gonzalez, 41, on at least two victims working at the location, according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.
Gonzalez was arrested on suspicion of human trafficking, pimping and pandering, while Diaz was arrested in connection with the same violations as well as money laundering.
Detectives also investigated another illicit massage business in Oxnard called Blue Moon Spa.
The owner, Irma Mendoza, 58, was eventually arrested on suspicion of pimping, pandering and money laundering.
Bail for each woman was set at $900,000, officials said.
During the investigation, detectives seized more than $60,000 and a Corvette, which detectives believe were proceeds of the “nefarious activities of operating commercial sex brothels,” officials said.
Victim advocates responded to the businesses and spoke to additional potential victims.